I’ve been doing lots of walking since my operation. I am told this stimulates the nerve that was being squashed for the last 2 years, and so this is a good thing. I have walked round the block (a lot), I have walked to and round nearby parks and I have walked along the Fallowfield Loop, which is nearby. It’s a lovely walk, lots of trees and is pedestrianised and flat. The pedestrianised bit is great because it means I can listen to my audiobooks without passing traffic making me miss essential parts of the storyline, and the flat bit is great because have you noticed how many bumps, lumps, stickyuppy bits and weirdly angled pavements there are?
Then yesterday I came across this news story: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/image-released-hunt-serial-phone-6184422
It turns out that a young man is targeting women and girls walking along said flat, pedestrianised route to steal their mobiles.
On today’s walk I found myself feeling suddenly nervous as I approached the loop and walked past it instead. I walked to the park and walked round that instead. I found myself walking a different way because I felt too nervous to walk down the path away from the traffic. I found myself justifying my choice to myself; that feeling nervous was not a way to relax into trying to walk further; that with my headphones on I couldn’t hear when someone was coming up behind me; that being mugged for my phone or starting in surprise would not be good for my back, let alone my nerves, that…. [insert your own reason here].
I feel angry that not only is he taking phones from girls and women, he is also – of course- taking confidence away from us, and not just those he has targeted. This is not a new observation nor a new occurrence. I want to say ‘fuck you’, but instead I’ve changed my route. And as much as I understand my own reasons, I feel kind of disappointed with myself.